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Yesterday I got a call from a Battle Buddy, He blew his job interview and did not get hired.

My buddy ran a Brigade S4 as a Senior NCO (E-8 Master Sergeant).  Which means he did the planning for unit movements, managed the Brigade's budget, advising the Commander on all logistics issues within the Brigade, conduct internal and external inspections, and ensure the Brigade has the required resources and equipment to complete its mission.

A Brigade is about 2 Battalions, each with about 5 companies, and about 3,500 Soldiers.  My buddy managed the logistics and accountability for them.

He was well rated in his job, one of the best.  He should be a shoe in for most any job he applied for.

He is a 23 year vet, would have loved to have stayed in but in 2005 he ended up in a coma from an IED blast.  He was in OIF and Desert Shield, and saw some "messed up stuff".  But the stuff that as he put it, "really F@cked Me Up" was what he saw in Yugoslavia.

He got out in 2008 but could not get looked at for employment beyond entry level.  To many employers did not know how to read his experience. When he applied for higher positions it was pointed out that they preferred to hire from with in.  My buddy made the mistake of not networking with private companies for 23 years while serving in the military. (not that he could of course)

In 09 he took one of the entry level jobs but his employer got pissed that twice a month he had appointments at the VA. (they are suppose to be one hour things but he ends up waiting half the day and some times comes out to worked up to even drive home.) They did not fire him but made it clear that he really needed to find another job.

The result is he bounced from job to job for a year and a half.  In 2011 he enrolled in college to complete his masters. (He had completed his BA while in the military by taking a few classes each year)  There he found job fairs that were looking for people with his training as soon as he got his MBA done.

He completes his degree this may, and had his first "real" job interview.

They went to the office area to talk the technical aspects and then to a TGIF type place for a get to know you meal.  The HR rep introduce him to the person he would be working for and my buddy knew there were going to be issues.  The man was from Serbia and spoke with an accent.  

As he put it "every time he said anything I kept seeing the bodies we recovered from the fields".  At the restaurant the noise, large number of people had him so worked up that he "couldn't hold my F-in fork".  He excused him self and walked out.  He drove to a park and then called the HR person to explain why.

The HR person was polite and said they "understood" and would get back to him.  He thinks he was doing ok till they went to the restaurant, there he was exposed, the noise of the TV's, people talking, having people walk behind him, the waitress coming up from behind him, was just too much.  He got through the appetizer, but "left a nice hunk of meat" there.

He is down to once a month at the VA, Graduates in May, works nights at a where house running forklifts.  But he was all upset that he can't make it through an interview at a restaurant because of the stress.  He has some medication that takes the edge off, but then he sounds drunk or high and can't drive.

On the bright side, he has three other interviews lined up.  But he jokes that his next interview will have someone from Iraq doing the talking and then go to a restaurant next to a mosque just before prayer time.

Originally posted to Drill Sgt K on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 10:59 AM PST.

Also republished by DKos Military Veterans, Military Community Members of Daily Kos, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Community Spotlight.

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